Recovery threatened – business news 23 September 2020.

James Salmon, Operations Director.

Recovery threatened, new Covid measures a blow to business, what the government and the BOE might do and changes at Companies House plus covid-19, market and other business news.

Here are CPA we want to share the business news stories we have seen that we think will affect our members and readers. Many of us are busy fighting to protect our businesses and therefore might have missed some of the news

Recovery threatened by new restrictions

Economists warn that the imposition of further Covid restrictions could mean growth flatlines over the last few months of the year. Paul Dales at Capital Economics says that the 10pm curfew on restaurants and bars and another homeworking push could mean GDP does not rise at all in October, November or December. Samuel Tombs at Pantheon Macro adds that if the Government ordered pubs, restaurants and other consumer businesses to close again then GDP would fall to 15% below pre-Covid levels as long as the restrictions lasted, compared to a 5% shortfall without them. The Telegraph’s Tom Rees proposes that if businesses fear ongoing stop-start restrictions they could be persuaded to hold back investment, pushing other businesses over the edge.

CBI: New measures a blow to business

The Prime Minister said yesterday that tighter rules to prevent the spread of COVID-19 could last six months and the advice was that by next spring “things will be vastly, vastly improved.” But the director-general of the CBI, Carolyn Fairbairn, said the six-month timetable “will come as a shock” to business, adding reversing plans to bring more employees back to offices was a “crushing blow for thousands of firms”. Elsewhere, UKHospitality CEO Kate Nicholls described the fresh restrictions as “another crushing blow” for many businesses while lobby group London First said advising people to work from home risked “derailing an already fragile recovery”. Mike Cherry, national chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses, added that it was now vital that the Government “steps forward with an ambitious second round of support measures to help firms survive.”


UK firms benefit from over £100bn in support amid pandemic

Over £100bn in support from banks and the Government has been received by UK firms through coronavirus stimulus initiatives, with lenders distributing more than £58bn and companies claiming £39.3bn under the furlough scheme. Stephen Pegge, head of commercial finance at banking body UK Finance, noted that “the banking and finance industry has a clear plan” to help firms negotiate “these tough times,” cautioning that “it is important to remember that any lending provided under government-backed schemes is a debt not a grant. Firms should carefully consider their ability to repay before completing an application.”

Bailey: Furlough scheme will need a rethink

Andrew Bailey, the Governor of the Bank of England, told a British Chambers of Commerce webinar on Tuesday that the Government’s furlough scheme will need a rethink before it ends at the end of October. He said Chancellor Rishi Sunak faces a difficult decision over the scheme and hinted that it may need to become sector-specific.

He went on to say that the resurging pandemic is “extremely difficult” news for the nation and warned that the “hard yards are ahead of us”. But he cooled expectations that the Bank of England will deploy negative interest rates in the immediate future.

Andrew Bailey did say the BoE “is going to do everything we can” to help the UK economy as it faces the prospect of a second lockdown.

Elsewhere, Martin Beck, of Oxford Economics, predicts the furlough scheme will be kept in place beyond the current October end-date, at least for affected sectors. “Boosting the generosity of existing compensation schemes for firms affected by local lockdowns would be another option,” he adds. Finally, data from payrolls firm XpertHR show the highest n umber of pay freezes across companies since the aftermath of the financial crisis in 2009.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak is reportedly weighing up a new scheme to subsidise workers’ wages to replace furlough, perhaps along the lines of the German short-time work scheme, as he tries to limit the economic impact of the latest coronavirus restrictions. It comes after Prime Minister Boris Johnson implemented new rules that will see pubs shut at 10pm, people working from home if possible and indoor sports banned.

Companies House to verify directors’ identities

Companies House has announced some new much needed procedures.

These should provide those who are trading with those companies greater assurance about  who they are dealing with, while also improving the ability of law enforcement agencies to trace their activity for suspected fraud or money laundering, the department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) said.

Company directors will have their identities verified before their names are listed on the UK’s official register of company information, as the government seeks to make life harder for fraudsters and financial criminals.

Lord Callanan, the minister for corporate responsibility, said: “Mandatory identity verification will mean criminals have no place to hide – allowing us to clamp down on fraud and money laundering and ensure people cannot manipulate the UK market for their own financial gain, whilst ensuring for the majority that the processes for setting up and running a company remain quick and easy.”

However, the move is seen as a small and long overdue step in many parts of the financial world, where there have long been complaints that false data has been given credibility by it being posted on Companies House.

The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the amount of inaccurate data flows into Companies House which has simply made it easier for organised crime and fraudsters generally to perpetrate the vast scale of misappropriation sadly seen on the Treasury’s bounce back loan schemes.

The key question will be how quickly government actually takes action, as it is troubling that the announcement doesn’t state when these changes are set to take place, leaving us to question whether the government is ready to take action or this is simply an attempt to show willing.

BEIS said that the changes “will require primary legislation which will happen in due course”. It did not explain if or how the changes will be enforced retrospectively to tackle what false entries which already exist on the register.

Wellbeing concerns follow shift back to working from home

Commenting on Boris Johnson’s call for office staff to work from home where possible to help reduce the spread of COVID-19, Peter Cheese, chief executive of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, says: “With home working likely to be the default for another six months, employers must recognise that isolation and anxiety could become an issue for some workers. To counter this, they should ensure managers are regularly checking in with their teams, and are asking about their wellbeing.” The Times notes that KPMG expects a large number of employees to continue working from home, but will keep its offices open for staff who had “a business-critical or wellbeing need to come in”.

Working from home and claiming tax relief

The Mail examines what expenses workers may be able to claim if they are asked to work from home. Caroline Miskin, technical manager at the Institute of Chartered Accountants England and Wales (ICAEW), points out that people can claim tax relief if required to work from home on a regular basis, but not if they have chosen to do so. You can claim for additional household expenses such as work telephone calls or the extra cost of gas and electricity up to £6 a week, without needing to provide receipts. Ms Miskin says you cannot claim for things you use for work as well as privately, such as rent or broadband. If a worker does not already file a self-assessment tax return, then a P87 form will need to be filled out at the end of the tax year. Ian Dickinson, tax director at UHY Hacker Young and Nigel Morris, employment tax director at MHA MacIntyre Hudson, also provide advice.

Big Four accounting firms unveil ESG reporting standards

Deloitte , EY, KPMG and PwC have announced a joint initiative under which a reporting framework for environmental, social and governance standards has been developed.

Government is going about audit reform the wrong way

Audit reform is taking too long, says Yasmine Chahed. Instead of “tinkering” around the edges, the Government should update audit’s core concepts and enshrine the Brydon review’s broader definition of audit in company law.

Women are still second-class citizens in pension system

Baroness Altmann writes in the Daily Mail that the Court of Appeal judgment last week is a blow to the many women who believe the sharp increase in their state pension age from 2010 discriminated against them. She says that she supports the concept of state pension age equality, and it is difficult to defend women being able to start their state pension five years before men, while also having longer life expectancy. However, she adds that women have always been – and still are – second-class citizens in the UK pension system. Altmann contends that women often lose out because of their societal role. “More women work in lower-paid sectors and are often those caring for family, so they earn less than men of their age, work part ? time and have shorter working lives and lower lifetime earnings than men,” she writes.

Government launches small pension pots taskforce

The Pensions Minister Guy Opperman has reported that a cross-sector working group has been established to address the problems caused by the volume of small pension pots being created under auto-enrolment. The DWP said the working group will involve experts from within the pensions industry, fintech, and those representing member interests and employers.

Green China

China sprung a major surprise after President Xi Jinping called for a “green revolution” and said his country would be carbon neutral by 2060. Addressing the UN general assembly today, Xi said that China would hit peak carbon emissions in 2030 and then begin to phase out emitting technologies.

Wahaca lenders take £25m haircut

Mexican-themed restaurant chain Wahaca is set to close about 10 of its 30 outlets as part of a financial restructuring overseen by PwC. Shareholders and lenders including NatWest will also write off about £25m under a proposed company voluntary arrangement.

Sales rise at charity shops

Charity retailers reported improved performance in August, according to BDO’s latest monthly Charity Retail Sales Tracker. Like-for-like sales were down 28.6% in August, an improvement on the 44.7% decrease in July.

Stamp duty holiday spurs rise in house sales

August saw house sales rise by 15.6% across the UK after the Government introduced a temporary stamp duty holiday. Sales rose by 15.6% in the month after climbing by 14.5% in July, figures from HMRC reveal. The tax break, which will last until March 31 2021, saw an estimated 81,280 sales take place in August and also helped to protect nearly 750,000 jobs in the housing sector and wider supply chain. However transactions were still down by 16.3% compared with the same month in 2019, figures show. Joshua Elash, director of property lender MT Finance, said: “The significant rise in house sales in August compared with the previous month reflects a positive response to the Chancellor’s stamp duty initiative in the short term but sadly, it is not sustainable.”

Yell sued over hard-sell tactics

Small businesses are threatening Yell, the company behind the Yellow Pages, with legal action claiming the firm sold them services using “false claims and high-pressure sales techniques.” Some 650 business owners are backing a claim proposed by the Yell Action Group, whose chairman Danny Richman said: “Thousands of customers were lied to by Yell and mis-sold advertising products on the basis of false claims and high-pressure sales techniques. We are a group of volunteers who have seen small businesses suffer as result of Yell’s practices and now we want justice.”

Covid-19 general news

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has imposed a swathe of stringent new restrictions that could last for up to 6 months if no new coronavirus treatments or vaccines are found. New restrictions in England from Thursday include a 10pm curfew, table service at hospitality venues and requirements that all retail and hospitality workers wear face masks at all times.

Companies including Goldman Sachs Group Inc. are halting plans to bring staff back to offices in the U.K. after Prime Minister Boris Johnson urged Britons to stay home to fight the spread of Covid-19.

America passed a grim milestone, marking 200,000 covid-19 deaths.

Several other European countries are heading into a dreaded “second wave”. India was breaking records with more than 90,000 new cases a day, until, a few days ago, it started counting radically fewer. Regardless it is on course to have the world’s largest caseload. Brazil, in third place, is trying to reopen its football stadiums at 30% capacity.

Johnson & Johnson has begun dosing up to 60,000 volunteers in a study of its Covid-19 vaccine, marking the first big U.S. trial of an inoculation that may work after just one shot


The FTSE saw a relief rally yesterday after the heavy losses seen Monday. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson told the English public today to work from home where possible and ordered bars and restaurants to close early to tackle a fast-spreading second wave of COVID-19 with new restrictions lasting probably six months. The S&P500 and the US Tech Index edged higher on Tuesday, led by a bounce in shares of and Apple, while uncertainty over more U.S. fiscal stimulus kept trading in Dow constituents muted.


Tesla has unveiled plans to halve the cost of the batteries used in its electric cars within the next three years. It will do so by building its own fuel cells and using fewer components as it aims to cut the price of some vehicles to $25,000—comparable to that of a combustion-engine car. Elon Musk, Tesla’s boss, said the firm would soon build 20 million vehicles a year. Last year it delivered 367,500.

Don’t let Covid-19 bust your business!

It will if your cash flow dries up, either sooner or later.

The Credit Protection Association (CPA) has been assisting thousands of UK businesses to get paid since 1914. We have seen many financial crises, this one will be particularly deadly for suppliers for sometime to come.

CPA eases cash from tardy debtors – Efficiently, Effectively, Economically and Ethically. Above all tactfully, because maintenance of goodwill is paramount.

To meet the needs of creditors in the current crisis, we have designed a “critical care” package especially tailored for the situation.

  • The annual package costs start at very low rates
  • A minimum performance warranty is provided
  • Several complimentary services included

Clients instruct CPA on-line via their PC or phone, completely user-friendly. Your late paying customers are told to pay you direct (not to us).

A very recent report shows a 23% increase in the number of unpaid invoices since March 11th THIS YEAR – are you getting a build-up of late payers?

Right now, overdue accounts must be a concern and CPA has a great track record of encouraging slow-payers to pay their suppliers quickly.

It takes less than 17 minutes to see how you would benefit, do you have the time now?

No face-to-face meeting required – just call Peter Uwins, CPA’s National Sales Manager, on 020 8846 0000 (business hours) or email today.

When you see your money come in, you will be so glad you used CPA.

Do you sell on credit?

With pressures on the cash flow it is essential that you stay on top of the credit limits you grant customers and watch carefully for any late payments.

Those customers will look for the easiest option to boost their cash-flow. Don’t let it be you.

You can’t just assume your customers can and will pay you eventually, no matter how big their name is.

It is essential to have credit management systems in place to monitor and check your customers credit worthiness.

It is also best practice to use a trusted third party like CPA to make sure you are paid on time by customers, no matter how good a name they have.

About CPA

The Credit Protection Association can help!

Formed in 1914, CPA has been providing credit management services to SMEs for over 100 years.

At the Credit Protection Association, we provide first class credit information that can help you avoid being over extended to customers who are at risk. Our monitoring service can flag up warning signs long before the end, giving you the chance to adjust and reduce your exposure. We provide recommended credit limits and credit scores on a traffic light system and can help you set appropriate credit policies for your customers.

We regularly publish lists of the latest insolvencies but by then it is too late. Our credit reports however predict approximately 96% of company insolvencies long before they arrive.

Companies in trouble usually have very bad cash flow and they try to deal with it by delaying payment to their suppliers, increasing your exposure to them.

If you supply on credit, help us help you identify the risks.

Why use a third party collector?

As a third party collector, we can also get your payments prioritised over those who are not as hot on collections. When your customer receives a letter from the Credit Protection Association regarding their outstanding account, they are going to want to get that resolved as a priority. Our overdue account recovery service can get your unpaid invoices to the top of their “to do” list and get your invoice paid.

Over the years we have collected billions in overdue invoices for our customers.

Our debt recovery and credit management services give our members the financial freedom needed to grow and prosper, while our new Late Payment Compensation department could unlock hidden potential and offer the compensation needed to springboard your business to success.

You might be hesitant about contacting a debt collection agency. What are they going to be like?

Can they help your particular type of business?

There is no need for concern. CPA are courteous, helpful and very probably have had direct experience of working with your type of business.

Debt collection agencies are not all alike.

Success lies in both recovering money and keeping customers happy. The Credit Protection Association was founded in 1914 and has helped tens of thousands of UK businesses to collect outstanding payments and reduce the risk of incurring bad debt. We believe that creditors deserve to be paid for the work or goods they have supplied but we fully understand the need to maintain
the best possible relationship with customers!

At The Credit Protection Association, we provide solutions, advice and back-up in all areas relating to the supply of services or goods on account. Client-members receive everything they need from a single source to reduce debtor days and write-offs.

The Credit Protection Association has helped has assisted tens of thousands of UK businesses with their credit control requirements, since the First World War.

We are polite, firm and efficient when it comes to recovering outstanding debt.

“We have used CPA for a number of years now. The website is easy to navigate around with lots of helpful reports. The staff are always at hand and very friendly. CPA has helped us reduce our debt over the years and keep track of potential issues with our customers.”
~ CPA client in Buckinghamshire

“The service from CPA has proved to be everything that you said it would be. We have already seen a huge benefit. We have had a number of overdue accounts paid promptly and directly to us. It is also a huge weight off our mind to know that once we have passed an overdue payment over to you, you take care of everything whilst keeping us informed.
~ Credit Controller client in Warrington

The Credit Protection Association – Prompting Punctual Payments – Ethical, Effective, Efficient, Economical collections


Ready to speak to an advisor?

For help or advice on credit management, entirely without obligation.

Call us today

0330 053 9263

CPA is passionate about late payment

The Credit Protection Association has been protecting smaller firms against poor payment practices for over 100 years.

We are extremely passionate about breaking the late payment culture that holds back the UK economy and threatens many SMEs, with cash flow difficulties being the single biggest killer of Britain’s small businesses.

If you were regularly paid late we can help. Those former customers used you to boost their own cashflow, regularly paying you late.

As a result you had extra costs, you had the distraction of having to chase payment, you had opportunity costs because your capital was tied up in their late invoices.

Under little used legislation, you are entitled to compensation for those late payments.

You put up with the PAIN – now claim the GAIN!

Now you can boost your own cash-flow.

CPA can help unearth the those hidden treasures.

We have the technology to reveal the compensation you are due and we have the extensive experience and expertise to then turn those claims into cash.

Did you know that your business is entitled to a minimum of £40 for every commercial invoice paid late to you over the past 6 years?

How many of your invoices are paid late each month – 20, 50, 100 or more?

At £40 per invoice that’s claim of £57,600, £144,000, £288,000 plus interest. The more invoices the bigger the claim! 

At £100 per invoice it’s £144,000, £360,000, £720,000 plus interest.

For over 20 years, CPA has calculated and recovered Late Payment Compensation on behalf of Clients!  

Yes, CPA can help you boost your business cash-flow.

Don’t let your bankers control you, contact CPA today.

The Credit Protection Association – Prompting Punctual Payments – Ethical, Effective, Efficient, Economical collections.

Read our blog here on how to crack down on the late payment culture.

Read our blog here on how to give late payers the slap they need.

The “Why” of the late payment culture.

New PM should walk the walk and back small firms over late payments

Paying late is “crack cocaine” to big business.

Late payment culture risks “spiraling out of control”

visit our late payment compensation page

See our full blog and FAQ on late payment compensation

Do you realise you could be sitting on a fortune?

Late payments often result in a cash flow crunch and leave SMEs in need of a cash injection.

If you sold B2B on credit then there may be a hidden source of capital you can call on.

If you fancy an bit of extra cash in your business, rather than jumping through hoops with your bank, you could look to uncover the resources from an unexpected source within your own business.

Not many are aware but there could be a hidden fortune within your business, sitting there, just waiting to be uncovered and released.

We can help you uncover the pile of gold, you didn’t even know you were sitting on.

If you trade with other businesses and were often paid late then you could be entitled to significant compensation.

Under little known and under-utilised legislation your business could be due huge amounts in compensation that you didn’t even know about.

Let’s be clear – this is not a way to weaken any customer relationships you value. It is one that identifies who’s been paying late and then recover the potentially significant sums in compensation using Late Payment Legislation from businesses where the relationship has already ended.

You can pick and choose who you want us to follow up – but once we’ve agreed which companies you’d like to pursue compensation from it’s a fast process and there’s no financial outlay to you whatsoever. My team at CPA put its expertise to work to recover the compensation due and fight late payment culture.

That compensation could provide the cash boost your business needed.

But don’t delay, that compensation evaporates if not claimed within six years of the late payment.

How can CPA help?

CPA has developed a unique technology to dig into your accounting records and discover the cash injection you are due by means of compensation. The software does all the hard work. Our software interacts over the cloud with over 300 different software packages, working directly with your accounts package, just so long as it’s stored on a computer.

We recognise that most companies do not have the resources to spend time on the identification and calculation of Late Payment Compensation. Our service can produce an Analyses within just a few days with (usually) less than 30 mins of co-operation from our clients. We work directly with over 300 accounting packages but can also work with bespoke accounts packages. Indeed, speed is essential as the oldest invoices may fall foul of the 6-year time limit.

Once the Sales Ledger Analyses is made available to clients, all that is required is that management decide which commercially sensitive ex-customers to remove from the list and return it to us.

CPA then uses its years of collection experience to explain and recover the Late Payment Compensation Claims. Clients do not handle any part of the recovery process as our team will take all communications from the companies against who the claims has been made. Often, it’s simply a case of explaining the legislation, sometimes we have to go all the way and enforce the legislation through the courts.

The result is that we are realising clients’ claims worth tens and sometimes hundreds of thousands of pounds which, of course, is pure net profit. You may also be among the recipients of “hundreds of thousands of pounds” should you elect to take advantage of our services.

We do the work, you receive the cash.

If you have supplied goods and services to businesses on credit and were regularly paid late then you could be due significant sums in late payment compensation.

We are talking to companies and unearthing claims in the hundreds of thousands from former business customers who paid them late. Large business customers who abused their power to inflict unfair and sometimes illegal payment practices.

We are helping business owners who are looking to boost the returns from their business before they retire. We are helping businesses who have lost major clients after years of loyal service to get properly compensated for systematic late payment. We are helping companies that were looking to close down, who looked insolvent and finding that cash injection they need to avoid insolvency.

Those former clients who regularly paid you late can finally be made to pay.

Ready to speak to an advisor?

For help or advice on credit management, entirely without obligation.

Call us today

0330 053 9263

The Credit Protection Association is a credit management company established in 1914. If you supply goods or services on credit then we can help you!

The Credit Protection Association – Prompting Punctual Payments – Ethical, Effective, Efficient, Economical collections.

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Read our blog here on how to crack down on the late payment culture.

Read our blog here on how to give late payers the slap they need.

25 excuses for late payment and how to get around them.

Read our Cash Flow Advice

Read about our overdue account recovery service

Read our blog – What is credit management?

Read our blog – How to select a debt collection agency

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see our blog – 15 steps to avoid invoice fraud

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As insolvencies rise, could you spot these warning signs in your customers?

The Credit Protection Association – Prompting Punctual Payments – Ethical, Effective, Efficient, Economical collections.